CONVERSATION WITH MY SON:
What is with teenagers and incoherent talking? I know it is a phase that will pass soon enough but not before I have had a conversation on it.
As I give my son a ride for his band practice, I ask him a question and I think he goes, ” yeah I did it”. I tell him that I can barely hear him and he’s quiet. I tell him the story of the time his sister would make barely audible replies- thank God that phase is long passed. I remember feeling like the witch in the film Rapunzel repeatedly asking the daughter to speak up (except that the witch wasn’t really Rapunzel’s mother, but well at least the little girl thought that’s what she was). So actually I felt like the witch in Rapunzel those days when my newly-turned-into-a-teenager daughter murmured away half of her responses to my questions. So as I recount the tale, I tell my son of my visit to the ear specialist. Yes, I actually did go because of her constant response of ” I replied, it’s not my fault if you couldn’t hear it”. Okay, it was because I was having itchy allergy ears too. But in the questionnaire that you fill out before meeting the specialist there actually was a question- do people tell you that you didn’t hear them? Imagine my surprise at being asked that-yes, I had to put ‘yes’. When the specialist saw me and went over the form I had filled, he asked me about that particular one. “So who are these people who tell you that you can’t hear them?”. I said my daughter. I also added, “I think she murmurs her responses though”. Anyway after a complete checkup that involved subjecting my ears to sounds of different wavelengths, I was told I’m good to go. “Your ears are perfectly normal, ma’m”, he said. As I thanked him and prepared to walk out the door, he added, “And by the way, Ma’m, your daughter does murmur”. It took me a moment to realize what he meant. I laughed at his reference to our conversation earlier.
My son laughs too when I’m done recounting the incident. To hammer home the point, I tell him about a friend’s husband whose aging father can barely hear now. I tell him what my friend often tells me-that it amazes her to see her husband patiently repeat each sentence over and over as he tries to have long distance conversation with his dad each weekend for hours. I tell my son, when I’m old and I actually can’t hear you, when the grand-parents/ other seniors he meets can’t hear properly, be patient and speak as coherently as you can. I see it register, I can tell from his facial expression. As he prepares to get off the car, I want to leave him with one final thought. I tell him that wisdom is not that hard to constantly acquire. Wise are those that learn from the experience of others. With a quick bye, he disappears from the car. As parents we can only talk, talk and talk. Apart from making an earnest attempt at living that talk. Our hope is that our kids are listening. Something tells me that they are …